CREATED Sep. 20, 2012
PALM SPRINGS--Gas prices are back on the rise in Riverside County, triggering a surge in siphoning gas from parked cars right here in the valley.
Hannah Cramer was recently the victim of gas siphoning.
"Well I had just filled up my tank and I noticed the next day that it was gone," Cramer said.
It's a growing problem here in the Coachella Valley, as the price of gas goes up, more people start stealing it instead of buying it.
The price of regualr unleaded gas is almost 4 dollars a gallon getting any of it siphoned out of your tank will definitely put a dent in your wallet.
But the surge in siphoning didn't seem to suprise consumers
"I understand why people would do it especially if they were down on their luck, they don't have any money, they have to get their kids to school, there's a bunch of things," said resident James Zimmerman.
"People can't buy gas, they're going to steal it," resident Mark Green said.
Palm Springs Police Sergeant Mike Kovaleff says there are ways to protect yourself--starting with installing a locking gas cap on your tank.
"The most common way is to take the gas cap off, insert a hose and drain as much gas as they can into fuel tanks and then leave the location," Sgt. Kovaleff said.
He says the crime usually goes unreported and victims like Hannah are forced to simply absorb the cost of another tank to keep their engine running.
If you do happen to see siphoning or if you've been a victim of gasoline theft your asked to call police.
· Install a locking gas cap on your vehicle
· Park your car in well-lit area or inside a garage
· If possible, install an alarm system
· If you are a victim, report it